Homemade bird traps & snares

Updated November 21, 2016

There are different methods for catching all types of birds. It's important to know what type of bird you're trying to catch and which trap will work best for that specific bird. A ground trap is much less complicated than most "flight bird" traps, including the Ojibwa Pole Trap, for instance, which is the method native American's have been using for centuries.

Dig a hole in the ground–using a small shovel, approximately one foot deep and six inches wide.

Make a trail of corn or other feed leading to the hole.

Place a small handful of feed at the bottom of the hole. When the bird pokes his head in to reach the feed, he will fall headfirst, as the hole is too deep for him to reach the bottom. The narrow width of the hole will make it impossible for him to get out.

Use a drill or knife to cut a hole all the way through one end of your longer stick. This hole should be wide enough that one end of the smaller stick fits easily within it. Sharpen the base end of the long stick and force it firmly into the ground so that it is sturdy.

String the rope through the hole in the top of the long stick, tying a stop-knot on one end of the hole and a small rock (no heavier than the bird you are trying to catch) to the other.

Sharpen the end of the small stick into a point. Insert only the point into the hole that the rope has been fed through. This will act as the perch.

Use the end of the rope without the rock to tie a small noose and lay the noose loosely over the perch. But do not put the perch through the noose. When a bird lands on the perch, its weight will loosen the stick and the stick will fall. The rock will drop, pulling the rest of the rope with it and tightening the noose around the bird.

Cut six equal sized squares out of mesh mink wire and create a box, latching all squares together with shorter "tied" pieces of wire.

Create a funnel shape out of mesh mink wire. Then cut the funnel in half. Discard one half, as you will only need one.

Cut a half circle at the bottom of one of the sides of your mesh wire box. The hole should be the same size as the larger end of your mesh funnel.

Insert the funnel, small side first, into the box and attach the larger end, creating a "door" for the magpie to enter. Due to the obscure shape, the magpie will enter through the larger end, but won't be able to get out. When setting your trap, make sure you reinforce it with rods cut to size and attached in an "X" shape along the roof, three walls, floor, as well as the seams.

Don't forget to bait your magpie trap with feed.

Use a mousetrap to catch a flight bird by baiting it with feed such as fruit.

Place the trap on a perch-like location such as a pole or a scarecrow.

Ensure that the trap is attached securely. Birds are quick creatures and this method, although it works, may prove to be less effective.


When choosing a rock, make sure it is no heavier than the bird you are trying to catch. If the rock is much heavier than the bird, the weight of the rock will be too forceful and the trap will rip the bird's legs off, according to A magpie will be suspicious of anything shiny. Try to use weathered looking wire for your trap.

Things You'll Need

  • Feed
  • Shovel
  • Rope
  • Long stick (about 12 inches)
  • Shorter stick (4 to 5 inches)
  • Knife
  • Drill (optional)
  • Rock
  • Mink wire mesh
  • Reinforcement rods
  • Wire cutters
  • Mouse trap
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